Günther Krampf

Günther Krampf (8 February 1899 – 4 August 1950) was an Austrian cinematographer who later settled and worked in Britain. Krampf has been described as a "phantom of film history"[1] because of his largely forgotten role working on a number of important films during the silent and early sound era. Only two of Krampf's films The Student of Prague (1926) and The Ghoul (1933) were expressionist, as he generally used a naturalistic style.[2]

Günther Krampf
Born8 February 1899
Died4 August 1950 (aged 51)
OccupationCinematographer
Years active1920 - 1950

Germany

Krampf first worked as a cinematographer in 1920. During the following decade Krampf worked alongside a number of the leading directors of the Weimar era including F. W. Murnau, Robert Wiene, G. W. Pabst, Richard Oswald and Rudolf Meinert at a time when German films enjoyed a high critical reputation.

Britain

Krampf moved to Britain to work in 1931. Krampf made six films for Gaumont British, a leading studio, between 1932 and 1936. He returned to Germany in 1935 to work on the historical epic Joan of Arc. An agreement Krampf had with an Austrian company to work on Mausi (which was ultimately never made), was broken by the studio because of pressure from Nazi Germany possibly because Krampf might have been of Jewish heritage.[3] Krampf successfully sued in court, and returned to Britain, where he lived for the remainder of his career. After leaving Gaumont, Krampf worked mainly at Welwyn Studios. During the Second World War Krampf collaborated with Alfred Hitchcock on two Propaganda films Aventure malgache and Bon Voyage. His final film of note was Fame is the Spur, a thinly disguised biopic of the politician Ramsay MacDonald, by the Boulting brothers.

Selected filmography

References

  1. Bergfelder & Cargnelli p.78
  2. Bergfelder & Cargnelli p.79-80
  3. Bergfelder & Cargnelli p.82

Bibliography

  • Bergfelder, Tim & Cargnelli, Christian. Destination London: German-speaking emigrés and British cinema, 1925-1950. Berghahn Books, 2008.
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